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Fish Facts - Striped Bass!

Striped Bass Fish Facts - with Director of Education Eli Caref

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Striped bass (also called rockfish by anglers) are some of the most well-known predators in the Hudson River. Identifiable by their silvery, horizontally striped scales, we catch them mostly as juveniles here at CURB (about 2-4 inches long). However, they can grow to be up to 5 feet long in their full adult size, living nearly 30 years! As anadromous migratory fish, they spend the majority of their lives out in the ocean, but they come to the estuary to spawn, where it is safer. They are considered a euryhaline species, because they can survive in full ocean salinity, freshwater, and our estuarine brackish water (a combination of both).

Striped bass are one of the major success stories along the Atlantic seaboard, thanks to fishing regulations. Because of overfishing and unhealthy ecosystems, striped bass populations nearly collapsed by the 1980’s. Several states imposed a moratorium on any fishing of striped bass for about 5 years, which, along with ecosystem management, significantly increased the striped bass population of the Atlantic coast. Today, it is said that more striped bass swim in the waters of the Hudson and New York Harbor than people live in New York City. Their populations are considered restored, reflected by CURB’s all-time-high catch of 708 stripers in 2018! By keeping our waters cleaner and ecosystems under better management, our native fish are able to thrive again.